Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Tag: UVXY put

Special circumstance investing – June update

Another month has passed. If you sell options this is a good thing because the more time elapsed = the more money in your pocket!

What did I do

I sold the UVXY puts! I bought 3 puts on 16 February this year. I bought them at 8 USD and sold at 8,82 USD on the 26th May
After all costs I made a 9,6% profit on 3 months and 10 days. In % this is impressive but in cold hard cash it is only 231 USD as liquidity is an issue with this product. I would love to be able to plow tens of thousands into this but with liquidity being low and bid ask spread being high I still have my doubts. But a guaranteed profit is hard for me to ignore so I’ll probably continue with it but perhaps in the girlfriends or parents portfolio so it annoys me less.

The ADM put I sold in May expired out of the money. This means I pocketed the 151 USD premium. A 0,75% return in 1 month is not that fantastic but it is on cash that I hold to unwind my leveraged construction if necessary. The leveraged construction should net me around 8% on my entire portfolio so this really is extra. And anyway, it’s a whole lot better than the 0,11% A YEAR people are getting on their savings account.
It actually is a bit better as that option only expired on 16 June and I already wrote a new put on ADM with expiry in July on the 6th May. So for 10 days the cash was pulling double duty, covering both the put with expiry 16th of May and the put with expiry in July. Premium was a little bit better and I should get 1.2% return but on a slightly longer time period : 1 month and 10 days. I am too lazy to calculate the annualized returns. If this one expires out of the money it will be another 238 USD in the bank account. We’ll see in July.

I actually really like my cash pulling double duty (the harder my money works, the less I need to work!) so on the 26th May I sold another 5 puts on ADM. This time with expiry in august. A little longer time period and a little higher premium again: 2.09% on less than 2 months. it will be another 418 USD I can once the put expires out of the money.
All puts have been written at strike 40 USD and I expect them all to expire worthless.
It also means I will probably do no trades in July. I might double up again after the July put has expired but probably only do that in august. It’s July, there are festivals and BBQ’s to attend!

Day trading a few times in June earned me another 300 USD.

So 450 USD in extra profits (and another 650 USD on their way) because I was not a complete sloth this month.

The girlfriends portfolio

I liked the put I sold on ADM so much I did the same one in my girlfriends portfolio. So another 5 puts sold on ADM with strike 40 and expiry in July. She too will be getting an extra 238 USD in premium.

I actually liked it so much I did it in my parents portfolio too. This is why the low liquidity of the UVXY puts annoys me so much. I want things that can scale. So that if I like something. If I am convinced of the attractiveness of an investment I can scale it up and not only put more of my money in it but also plow some money of the girlfriend and the parents in it. I am way too lazy to find 10 good investment opportunities in a year. Two or three is more than enough for me, but when I find those I want to be able to go big.

Like I said, I like cash working hard so I was contemplating of also writing a second put for august on ADM when the price of AB Inbev dropped below a 100 euro. I like AB inbev at the 100 euro mark a lot! So I did double up in the girlfriends portfolio but with a 2 puts on AB Inbev. Went for a longer time period: expiry December 2017. It will be a 7,7% return in under 6 months. Not exactly UVXY put territory but close. And scalable and liquid. In cash terms it means a 1546 euro premium for the girlfriend.

It also means that if AB Inbev doesn’t move a lot at opening on monday I can do the same in the parents portfolio as well (I forgot to take the log in codes with me to work, sorry dad!).

 

Special circumstance investing – May update

Not a lot happened.

The UVX put is still not sold. Mainly because I just do not feel like logging into my computer when I get home after work (and my broker’s site is blocked at work). But I now am clearly in profit on this position so it will definitely go in June. Profit will be around 10% which is not bad for 4 months. Still not sure if I will do this again or not in the future for the same reasons I mentioned last month.

What did I do?

Like I said, not a lot.

The ABI put expired worthless. So the premium off 786,40 euro is now completely profit and in the pocket. I must repeat I really love my broker as he lets you trade on margin. My previous brokers insisted on having full coverage when writing puts and although I agree with this on principle it always annoyed me when I had to buy back a worthless position before being able to write new puts. just for this reason I would now always choose a broker which allows leverage. At my previous broker I would have need to buy back the ABI position at a cost of 20 euro (and a fee) before I could enter into a new position. Now I could just let the ABI put on the books until expiry thus not having to spend the 20 euro on something I knew was worthless and avoid another trading fee. It is not only that you avoid small costs but also that you gain a lot of flexibility. And having flexibility can mean big profits sometimes.

Also, it’s less work to do. Which lets me be lazy, always a big win in my book!

I am in profit on the UVXY put I bought. I am in profit on the ADM put I sold and I am in profit on the leveraged construction. Life is good.

Day trading grinded to a halt due to work. 1 May I was home due to it being an official holiday in Belgium and I made 95 USD with day trading that day. Then I started working and I only did one more day trade on 16 may. Made 20 USD, exited the trade because my head was not into it and that was it for the month. The girlfriend is going to a music festival in Portugal this week (yes I know, the decadence!) so I hope to get some day trading in on those days. Best laid plans and all of that ..

The girlfriends portfolio

Well, since I did almost nothing in my own portfolio you can guess what I did in the girlfriends portfolio: zero, zip, nothing. She should have received her dividend (around 2.000 euro) from her main position in May, still need to check that! I guess this is the best passive income you can have: just pocketing the dividend and the only thing you need to do is transfer the dividend or re-invest it.

The girlfriend got her current portfolio seven years ago. When we bought our current home together she sold her house in Ghent. She made a very nice profit on that sale but I decided we should borrow 100% of the purchase price of our new house. Part of her profit she wanted to use for renovations (with me putting up the same amount in cash for renovations) on the house but I decided she needed to invest a big part of it as well. She wanted dividends so ended up with a good stock (but not my first choice). After almost 7 years this position is now close to double the original worth (including dividends)! The downside of this was that for the next 7 years all our savings have been going to the house renovations (and we are still not finished). The alternative would have been to not do the investment and use all the money for renovations. And then start saving up to build a stash (in her case, or me to rebuild the stash). Well, after almost 7 years I can say that the profits on her stash are bigger than anything she would have been able to save! And I was a lot less active in her stash than I was in mine (so the difference for me would have been even bigger but not so easy to calculate). The only downside is that we are now still not finished renovating and that for a few years we were living on a construction side (although last year, with the kitchen and bathroom renovation, was the hardest). It just proves there is profit in being able to handle discomfort.

Special circumstance investing – April update

I am still waiting to be able to sell the UVXY put I bought at a profit. I know this eventually will happen as the UVXY is guaranteed to lose value. But I must confess I am not a fan of the product. The liquidity is so low and spread so big on the options on this, that selling it is not always a given. I find this annoying so once I exit this position I will probably not do it again. It is an almost certain way to make some profit. But the annoyance I have with the product and the fact that you can only deploy limited money in it (due to the low liquidity of the options) make it unattractive for me.

What did I do?

The two put options I wrote on ABI have expiration May. Strike is 100 euro, current price 103 euro, there is only two weeks left and the dividend has been paid. I am almost 100% sure these puts will expire worthless. So I am letting them run their course but I did write 2 new puts, again strike 100 but expiry July. I explained last month why I prefer not to get assigned but I do not mind picking up another 400 euro. And the cash I have is really working hard for the next two weeks. It is

A) insurance if I have to unwind my leveraged position -buffer there is still healthy-

B) covering the put that expires in May and

C) covering the put that expires in July.

I love it when my money works hard since it means I can be lazy 😉

Do not forget I earned this cash by creating a leveraged construction in January. So this is money I earned by borrowing money. This why I keep it in cash so I can unwind the leveraged position if necessary. But thanks to these puts on ABI the cash will have earned 5% in the first half of the year!

I have also been day trading a bit in April. I started with Monsanto as I found that very safe due to the offer by BASF. Volatility was a bit low in Monsanto so it didn’t make a very good day trading stock. But I did make a bit of a profit on it and by some dumb luck I happened to have a position in Monsanto when it went ex-dividend. Hooray for a lucky extra 210 USD! I switched to Google afterwards which turned out to be a good choice. Current total profits of day trading are 2.250 USD which is exactly the amount I needed to bridge the difference between unemployment benefits and my previous wages (not a coincidence!). Since I am now working again, day trading activity will be very sporadic (the evenings my girlfriend has to work until 22h). But I am going to try to continue, so I can speed up the home renovations a bit.

Update: the 2 new ABI puts didn’t actually go through so they have been replaced by 5 contracts on ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company), strike 40 and expiry June. Full explication in the comments, grr how does work dare to intervene with my investing!!

The girlfriends portfolio

I did a merger arbitrage play on Monsanto in the girlfriends portfolio at 1x leverage. Now I have to confess, I can be a bit pushy when it comes to investment stuff. So I kind of just did it, and then went and explained it. Thing is, my girlfriends ethical side is a lot more developed than mine. Which means that ethics play zero role in deciding where the money goes. The only deciding factor is if I can make a profit at a low risk. Actually, if it didn’t carry those big expense ratio I would have bought a bit of the Vice fund for the sole reason to annoy some of my friends. It turns out that for my girlfriend it does matter where her money is invested.

So she actually wasn’t too happy to be invested in Monsanto and to profit of the merger. So after hearing her compalin about it for almost two months, I have unwound this arbitrage play. With a profit of course, and after the dividend pay out!! But at a lower price than the current one, so her ethics have cost her over 400 USD already. And it will cost her more as I am still convinced the merger will go through! But hey, a happy girlfriend makes a happy sloth. And a 1.200 USD profit in less than 2 months isn’t bad either.

Since she didn’t have any leveraged position any more I did do some day trading in her account also. Profits there are around 500 USD.

As said, I am working again so for May i just hope to finally be able to sell the UVXY puts and do a little bit of day trading if I feel like it after a loooong day at the office.

Special circumstance investing

So after having explained my general views on investing. And why I really, really like the combination of our low interest rate environment, CfD’s and Lynx (a reseller of Interactive Brokers). I will now go into a bit more detail of what I did in 2016 with the newly discovered tools and what I am on the lookout for at the moment.

2016

I covered most of this in my post about the origin of my stash. But I’ll try to give a bit more explication on why I did it and the difference leverage made.

The first opportunity I had to use leverage was when AB Inbev made a take offer bid on SAB MILLER. They offered 44 GBP but the market had doubts so the SAB MILLER stock traded at 40 GBP. This was a 10% gap. I had no doubts that a) the take offer bid would materialize and b) this would happen in less than a year. So what I saw was the possibility to borrow at less than 3% to make around 10%. I was confident because I knew AB Inbev for more and a decade, this was the final piece of puzzle they had been putting together for a long time and they had successfully done the take over/merger with Anheuser-Busch. But I also looked at the downside and there the picture looked good as well: SAB MILLER had actually grown more in the last years than AB INBEV, the markets they operated in had more promise, they promised to apply the cost cutting culture of AB INBEV if the merger did not go through and they actually paid a dividend that almost covered my financing fee. The downside was actually not all that bad. Sure, the stock of SAB MILLER would probably drop to around 34 GBP (the price before the offer) but looking at the economics of SAB MILLER I felt confident they would be at 40 GBP within 2 years. So merger goes through: I make a nice and quick profit, merger does not go through: I’ll still make a profit but it will probably take 2 ears or more. So I bought 5000 CfD’s on SAB MILLER at around 40.50 GBP. The brexit and a change in margin requirements would force me out of the trade but in the end I still made a net profit of 8366 GBP. Less than I had anticipated but since the leveraged position was about the size of my total stash it did add a nice 4% extra return. And I made it between the end of December and mid June. the leverage made all the difference. Without it I would have been forced to find some free cash or sell other stocks. Berkshire was around 130 USD when I started the leveraged position and it was 140 USD. It had actually gone up 7% in the same time period. Not using leverage would have made me miss this run up in Berkshire Hathaway.

With the SAB MILLER position active and me not needing to work at the time I grew bored. So I tried my hand at day trading. Technically it was day trading because I was buying and selling on the same day. But actually I had identified some stock that was cheap and I wanted to buy some. I just didn’t feel too comfortable with already having a 200.000 GBP leveraged position so as soon as I made some profit I closed the position (and thus the extra leverage). I practiced a bit with Berkshire Hathaway and Coca cola. And then when Google went down to 730 USD I really had some fun with it. Real day trading is off course have dozens or even hundreds of trades and playing both an uptrend and downtrend in stock price. I just bought stock I thought was cheap and then sold with a small profit. Sometimes I only did 1 or 2 of these trades, and some days 6 or 8. I found it to be way to much work and also too much stress but I did make around 2.500 USD in profits from it (another 1% added to the stash). But it would have been much more profitable to just buy Google at 730 USD, keep it for a few months and then sell it around 780 USD. I just wasn’t very comfortable with that amount of leverage at that time.

But a friend of mine had combined everything we had learned about investing and the possibilities that Lynx offered and found a very interesting construction one could set up. I will not go into detail because it uses around 2X leverage (very, very dangerous!) and you should only do it with some very specific stocks (1 in particular is well suited for it) at certain price points. No need to feel left out as at present prices, one most definitely should not do it!

But in June 2016 the price was right and with the leverage of SAB MILLER gone I myself set up a similar construction. This would net me around 10.000 USD a 12.000 USD. With the leverage involved and the long period of the construction it is a bit difficult to determine the exact profit (or I should start keeping more detailed records, for which I am way too lazy! The construction was wildly profitable and that is good enough for me).

In-between all of the above, and because I was now making profits with my leveraged positions I also wrote a few puts on Berkshire Hathaway, none of them called because Berkshire Hathaway had a really good 2016! I would have liked to buy extra shares at a lower price but the 1 500 USD in premiums was nice as well. I did pick up some Berkshire Hathaway shares to hold and add to my collateral (all that profit had to go somewhere).

Looking at 2016, it may seem as I was all over the map. But if you discount the ‘day trading’ activity I actually did not do a whole lot of trades and I was only active in 5 different stocks. All of which I have known for years, or even decades. For me, most of the work is in identifying good companies to invest in. Once that is done, doing trades in them, even if that is with options or via CfD’s does not take a lot of time or effort. It is my long held belief that an investor only needs a handful of quality stocks he knows really, really well and a good understanding of all the possibilities of options to do very well for himself.

Thanks to the smart use of leverage I added a bit more than 10% extra return to my stash.

2017

Early in 2017 I could repeat the construction from mid 2016. This will add around 24.000 USD to my stash, or an extra 10% return. The price point at which I could do it was stretching my comfort zone somewhat. A sharp drop in stock price is the only risk I have, stock price remaining equal or going higher do not make any difference (I do have around 5% downward protection, but after that, things become dicey). At 2 times leverage I have felt a bit unsettled but we are now one month into it and prices have risen another 6% so that does give me another safety cushion!

Setting up the construction only took 5 minutes (10 if you add the time i spend on my parents stash) and then left me with not a whole much to do. I grew bored. I also came to the realization I like investing. I like it a lot. I have literally zero need to keep reading financial and economic stuff but yet I continue to read, read, read.

I miss being active and when I find something really, really smart I am not ashamed to admit I drool over it.

I am drooling over UVXY. it seems to be a product designed to go lower in price over time. Financial velociraptor found it. Which makes it ideal to short it (or buy puts on it). With the construction it is prudent to keep a decent amount of cash at hand. Especially in the beginning. At the moment that is around 40.000 USD. Over time, the leverage is going to cost me around 12.000 USD.

So me being bored, having found this really cool stock to play with and having a lot of cash available. Well, I had to try a trade in it! I copied Velociraptors last trade. It is not beneath me to copy somebody’s cool idea! So I bought three contracts of UVXY190118P00013000. We will see how it turns out. It is ideal to familiarize myself with it. The longer the construction runs, the less need to hold large amounts of cash. So starting slow with not too much cash and slowly building my confidence in these trades and making them larger as time goes by is ideal for me at the moment.

Prices of most stock are pretty high but I am looking at some stuff.

Resilux, there is a takeover bid at 195 euro and the stock currently sits at 188.75 euro. Takeover bid has the support of current management and there is a fair change it will go through. At 185 euro it would be a nice CfD play. Doubtfull it will go so low, and volume is also low but I have set an e-mail alert on it at 185,50 euro.

Vandevelde got knocked down to 57,5 euro. They pay a net dividend of 4.2% at current stock price (3.5 bruto – 30% taxes). But I do not like them paying full free cash flow in dividends, or being geographically limited (bulk of their sales profit come from Belgium and France and with the upcoming presidential election in France, 2017 may be bumpy). Still, good company with a nice product (Belgian men know what I am talking about) and well run. But too many doubts.

I almost wrote some puts on coca cola when they stood at 40,50 USD last week. I wanted a slightly higher premium and also visited some friends on the day I was planning to do it (and I forgot t take my log in information with me, doh!). Here is hoping they go back down. Last time Coca-cola was around the 40 USD price level I made around 15% in a 4 month time frame. Would like to repeat that if at all possible! Set another e-mail alert at 40,80 USD. I would write 5 put contracts at strike 40 and an expiry 5 to 6 months away. Can stocks please go a bit lower? It’s starting to become a bit ridiculous!

And then there is another takeover arbitrage possibility. Bayer wants to pay 128 USD cash for Monsanto but Monsanto is only trading at 110,70 USD at the moment. That is a nice 15% gap. It is also an arbitrage Buffett is apparently playing and he is seldom wrong. But I need to do my homework on Monsanto first. Would I mind holding the stock for some time at current price if the deal falls through? Since I am already at the max leverage I want to tolerate, this would actually be something for the girlfriends stash. So I really need to do my homework. She still hasn’t decided if she wants to actually make a profit of Monsanto as she doesn’t like the company or its products. Personally I am amoral if it comes down to investments but like I said, I really need to read up on Monsanto before risking any of the girlfriends money. If I do it, I will limit the leverage to 1X or even only 0.75X of her stash.

So this what I have done in 2017 and what I am currently looking at. Did anybody make it all the way to the end?